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About Halsbury Work Experience Abroad

The foundation of the Halsbury group was built on a passion for languages and inspiring young people to explore and discover the enjoyment and opportunities that learning a language has to offer. Our Director and founder of the Halsbury groups, Keith Sharkey’s first experience of organising group travel was as a French teacher when he began running an annual school exchange program with a French school in 1976. Having spent many happy summers as a teenager on an exchange with a pen friend in Paris, Keith knew just how beneficial it was to learn a language in the country where it is spoken. Having witnessed the powerful effect that travelling to France had on his students; Keith’s enthusiasm for school travel took off and he started the two companies Halsbury Travel and Acorn Educational Exchanges in 1986.

Many sixth form students who had taken part in an exchange with Keith wanted to go back to France but were not so happy to give up the 4 weeks that this involved, both travelling and hosting and Acorn Educational Exchanges was transformed into a new experience programme for sixth formers in 1992. This seemed to fit the requirements of post 16 students, giving them the opportunity to live and work in the country where the language is spoken and to get a taste of the independence and responsibility of travelling independently from their family or school. Many of our students tell us that they leave the trip feeling more confident in their ability to speak and converse in the language and that the independence and freedom really prepared them for the next stage in their lives whether it be university, a gap year or employment.

Our Accreditations

Halsbury is a member of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), which is dedicated to raising standards of quality, safety, service and financial security. You can be sure that when you book with Halsbury Travel all your arrangements will be in the best possible hands. You are protected financially by our ABTA bond. Visit for more info.

Halsbury has been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, a benchmark that identifies organisations providing quality services that fulfil the requirements of a quality LOtC provider. In order to be awarded the badge, organisations must demonstrate they are committed to fulfilling six quality indicators that are required of a quality LOtC provider. The result is that teachers, local authorities and parents are able to identify and have confidence that Halsbury Travel is committed to offering LOtC activities that are safe and beneficial to learning. Visit the Learning Outside the Classroom Website to learn more.

Halsbury is a founding member of the School Travel Forum, a group of leading school tour operators that promote good practice and safety in school travel. All Full Members of the STF adhere to a rigorous Code of Practice and Safety Management Standards that are externally verified each year by Overcoat, the UK’s leading Health and Safety Consultancy specialising in Travel.

For your complete peace of mind the air tours and flights arranged by Halsbury are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 5079. Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom. Visit if you want to know more.

Health & Safety

The Directors of the Halsbury group regard safety as paramount and that it must take precedence over all other objectives. They have assumed responsibility for the development and implementation of the Safety Management System to ensure that all reasonable measures are taken so that clients are assured of a high level of safety throughout all of its tour programmes.